May 6, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS - The University of Dayton Division of Athletics has traditionally been one of top academic performers in the nation and that was backed by once again the NCAA on Wednesday with the release of the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) reports.
Four different Flyer athletics programs had the best score in their respective conferences. Three had a perfect APR of 1000 and were tied for first. UD men's golf, women's golf and men's tennis tallied 1000. Men's basketball's multi-year APR of 979 was also the best in the Atlantic 10. Those four sports, along with women's basketball, football women's soccer and women's indoor track and field were recently honored with Public Recognition Awards by the NCAA for their continued achievement in the multi-year APR which included data for the 2004-2005 through 2007-2008 academic years.
The Atlantic 10 Conference had 50 teams earn Public Recognition Awards. Nineteen of the A-10 21 conference sports (including all 15 sports UD participates in) have APR's higher than the national conference average.
Across the NCAA, the overall four-year Division I Academic Progress Rate is up three points to 964, and the number of student-athletes earning neither the retention nor the eligibility point ("0-for-2s") continues to decline.
Those highlights in the fifth year of APR data appear to be the product of a confluence of rule changes that began in 2003 - including increased progress-toward-degree benchmarks, greater core-course requirements and more stringent standards for transfers.
"This is very positive information," said Walter Harrison, chair of the Committee on Academic Performance and president of the University of Hartford. "We should all take great satisfaction that a lot of work over a lot of years by a lot of people has resulted in the increased academic performance of student-athletes. Nothing happens overnight; it happens gradually." Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility, retention and graduation of each scholarship student-athlete. An APR of 925 projects to an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of approximately 60 percent.
Teams that score below 925 and have a student leave school academically ineligible can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships. Known as immediate penalties, these scholarships can be lost each year and not awarded until the following year. Teams can also be subject to historical penalties for poor academic performance over time.
Overall, the last data demonstrates that the single-year APR of Division I student-athletes rose to 971, with increases in both eligibility and retention and a continued decrease in the number of student-athletes leaving school while academically ineligible (0-for-2s). The number of 0-for-2s has declined from 3.6 percent of the total student-athlete cohort in 2003-04 to only 2.6 percent in the 2007-08 data collection year (910 student-athletes).
Eligibility rates rose two points, while retention was up nearly six. The addition of the policy allowing student-athletes meeting a specific academic profile to transfer without losing the retention point elevated APRs, but even when that adjustment is removed, retention still rose four points in the last five years.
APR data for every NCAA Division I institution can be found at www.ncaa.org.